It is becoming increasingly common for lawyers to discuss or recommend to clients to have two wills prepared if the testator has a substantial investment in one or more private companies .
This plan involves having one will to govern the estate assets that require probate and a second will to govern those estate assets that do not require probate. The customary objective is to achieve a significant savings in Estate Administration Tax.
Usually the will that governs the assets requiring probate is called the “Primary Will” and is signed first, and the will that governs the assets that don’t require probate is called the “Secondary Will” and is signed immediately afterwards.
Assets that can usually be dealt with without the necessity of a formal grant of probate by the court include things like shares in a privately held corporation, partnership interests, beneficial interests in a trust, unsecured debts, and household goods and personal effects except for those that are specifically dealt with under the primary will.
Sometimes even real property can be transferred without probate.
The term “divorce” has a very distinct legal meaning, yet many people fail to understand the difference between separation and divorce. Often the meanings of the two concepts are blurred together.
To illustrate, a conversation around a water cooler somewhere in Ontario might go as follows:
MAURICE: Did you hear the news? Moe from marketing and
Sylvie from accounting are separating!
MARTHA: That’s funny, I heard they got a divorce.
MAURICE: What’s the difference, all I know is that
she’s getting the house and he’s getting
MARTHA: I don’t know the difference either…
at least it was one of those new cordless
To alleviate the confusion between the terms ‘separation’ and ‘divorce,’ it is helpful to begin with section 8 of the Divorce Act, which allows either or both spouses to apply to the Court for a divorce when there has been a “breakdown of the marriage.”
Parties must apply to the court if they want to be divorced. So, if Moe and Sylvie are separating but are not applying to court, then it would be appropriate to say they are “separated” but not